Corporate Educational Advocacy Roundtable
CRT Legislative Update, Week 6
February 19, 2022

Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair
Stephen R. Winn, ED
Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
The legislative clock is winding down toward the end of the session as legislators scramble to get bills heard in committee.  As we move toward the budget conference, policy subcommittees will conclude their meetings, further blunting the movement of legislation.  Although several bills will wither on the vine, those heard in at least one committee of reference are subject to being amended onto viable legislation.  The FOMA remains vigilant, keeping a close watch over the process as the legislative engineers begin positioning stalled bills and forming trains.

This week, the House and Senate passed their respective budget plans, setting the stage for a budget conference.  Senate and House appropriations conferees were appointed.  In the coming weeks, conferees will begin negotiations to reconcile differences between the two plans.  Any issues not resolved by the subcommittees will be bumped to the appropriations chairs and the presiding officers of the House and Senate until a deal is reached on the final budget.  After an agreement is reached, a final vote will be held in the House and Senate before the FY 2022-23 Budget is transmitted to the Governor for his consideration.  The Governor has line-item veto authority and could use this power to remove certain funding items adopted by the legislature.   
The FOMA Supports
Hearing Aids for Children
 with bill sponsor Rep. Brannan & cosponsor Rep. Zika
Steve Winn, Sheriff Miller & Congressman Dunn
Attending fundraiser in support of Sheriffs Youth Ranches
PBM Regulation
Clearing another hurdle, SB 1476 relating to prescription drug coverage was unanimously passed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government.  The bill provides an enforcement mechanism for violations of established PBM audit protections for licensed pharmacies.  Under current law, the Board of Pharmacy cannot enforce Pharmacy Act violations committed by PBMs and insurers.

This legislation transfers the audit provisions of the Florida Pharmacy Act to the Florida Insurance Code, granting the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) the ability to respond to potential violations.   The bills also allow pharmacies to appeal audit findings through AHCA’s Dispute Resolution Program.  In addition, the bills establish a financial penalty for PBMs failing to register with OIR.  Finally, the measures provide that a health insurer is responsible for violations of the pharmacy audit provisions, even if a PBM is contracted to manage pharmacy benefits on behalf of the insurer or HMO.

SB 1476 has one committee of reference remaining, the Senate Appropriations Committee. The House companion, HB 357, has passed all committees and is eligible for consideration by the Full House House of Representatives.

The FOMA Supports this legislation.

  • HB 0357 Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers by Toledo

  • SB 1476 Prescription Drug Coverage by Wright
Administration of Vaccines
The House Health & Human Services Committee passed HB 1209 relating to the administration of vaccines.  HB 1209 authorizes qualified Florida-registered pharmacy technicians to administer designated to adults under the supervision of a certified pharmacist.  

Under the measure, pharmacy technicians must become certified prior to administering authorized immunizations. To become certified, a registered pharmacy technician must complete a certification program approved by the Board, in consultation with the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine. The training curriculum must have at least 6 hours of training that, at a minimum, includes instruction on the safe and effective administration of vaccines and potential allergic reactions to such vaccines. Upon registration renewal, pharmacy technicians must have completed at least two hours of additional continuing education.

HB 1209 has passed all committees of reference and is eligible for House consideration.  The Senate companion, SB 1892, has one committee of reference remaining, the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  • HB 1209 Administration of Vaccines by Tuck

  • SB 1892 Administration of Vaccines by Burgess
Prescription Drug Treatment Schizophrenia
Legislation creating an exception from the Florida Medicaid Program step-therapy prior authorization requirements for certain mental health conditions, passed in the House and Senate this week.  To qualify for the exception, prior authorization for the medication must have previously been granted and dispensed to the patient during the previous 12 months.

In practice, the pharmacy benefit manager for the Florida Medicaid Fee-for-Service delivery system would review the exception request on behalf of the AHCA. Managed-care plans would process their exceptions. Providers may transmit written medical or clinical documentation by facsimile or submit their requests through the electronic prior authorization system.

SB 534 unanimously passed the Senate and is in messages to the House.  The House Companion, HB 885, was unanimously passed by the House Health and Human Services Committee, its final committee of reference.   Both bills are identical.
The FOMA is monitoring this legislation.  

  • SB 0534 Prescription Drugs Used in the Treatment of Schizophrenia for Medicaid Recipients by Harrell

  • HB 0885 Prescription Drugs Used in the Treatment of Schizophrenia for Medicaid Recipients by McFarland
Department of Health Bill
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services unanimously passed SB 768 relating to the Department of Health.  A similar measure, HB 693, was unanimously adopted by the Health & Human Services Committee this week. The legislation addresses certain healthcare-related issues regulated by the Department of Health (DOH). 

  • Updates the “Targeted Outreach for Pregnant Women Act of 1998”;

  • Amends section 381.0303, Florida Statutes., to specify that for pediatric special needs shelters, the DOH is the lead agency to coordinate local medical and health care providers for the staffing and management of the shelters and is the decision-making authority for determining the medical supervision in each special needs shelter;

  • Allows the DOH to collect samples of marijuana and marijuana delivery devices, in general, from a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) for specified testing, rather than only samples of edibles;

  • Expands MMTC recall requirements to all marijuana products and delivery devices, rather than only edibles;

  • Provides an exception from criminal laws for the DOH employees to acquire, possess, test, transport, and lawfully dispose of marijuana and marijuana delivery devices;

  • Amends statutes regulating several types of health care professions, including allopathic and osteopathic physicians, nurses, midwives, psychologists, orthotists, prosthetists, clinical lab personnel, chiropractors, mental health counselors, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists;

  • Amends sections 460.406, 468.803, 483.824, and 490.005, Florida Statutes, to delete references to the term “regional” and replace it with the term “institutional” to conform with the U.S. Department of Education accreditation nomenclature for approving healthcare-related educational institutions; and

  • Amends section 766.314, Florida Statutes, authorizing the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) to collect and enforce physician assessments in circuit court, if necessary and requires the NICA to notify the DOH and the appropriate board of any unpaid final judgments against a physician within a specific timeframe. 

SB 768 has one committee remaining, the Senate Appropriations Committee.  HB 693 has passed all committees of reference and is eligible for the consideration of the Senate.  

The FOMA is monitoring this Legislation.

  • SB 0768 Department of Health by Rodriguez (A)

  • HB 0693 Department of Health by Drake
Bill Tracking Report
To review the legislation contained in the tracking report in greater detail:

  • Click on the Bill Number Link. 

  • This will take you to a shared LobbyTools webpage.
  • Find the section titled Bill Text and Amendments

  • Click on the PDF link
Legislative Calendar Week 7
In the News
DeSantis receives the COVID protections bill and signs...

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed two bills and received nine others, including a measure that would extend COVID-19 legal protections for hospitals and other health care providers. Meantime, the state Senate unanimously passed a nearly $109...

Read more
Bills would guarantee visitation at Florida's health...

Jean White has fond memories of her mother visiting her at the horse farm she lives on in Brooksville, before her mom's dementia worsened and she started living in a memory care facility. "Interestingly enough, she would remember one of my...

Read more
Why millions on Medicaid are at risk of losing coverage...

The Biden administration and state officials are bracing for a great unwinding: millions of people losing their Medicaid benefits when the pandemic health emergency ends. Some might sign up for different insurance. Many others are bound to get...

Read more
The opioid epidemic continues to plague communities in...

The opioid crisis continues to take lives across North Central Florida, and local organizations are trying to find ways to combat it. Since 2018, the Ocala Police Department has responded to over 1,000 overdose incidents, which have resulted in...

Read more